Power Seating and Power Wheeled Mobility Considerations for People with MS


Date: 4/21/20
Credit: .1 CEU
Presenter: Faith Saftler Savage, PT, ATP
Medical Terminology, Seating and Positioning, ATP/SMS Prep Content, Intermediate



This course will investigate power wheelchair issues for people with MS. Physical and cognitive changes affect people with MS. This in turn affects a person’ sitting posture, ability to drive a power wheelchair and the method of driving a power wheelchair. Postural issues will be reviewed with discussion of wheelchair frame issues that affect decision making for a specific wheelchair base. Changes to seating systems are also necessary as the individual’s physical status changes. Various seating systems including tilt, anterior tilt, recline, elevating legrests and standing will be addressed. Maintaining the ability to drive with alternative drive controls for individuals who maintain cognitive skills but have decreased hand function is important psychologically, but the most optimal system must be determined to ensure safety and efficiency. A variety of drive control systems will be explored.

Learning Outcomes:
The participant will be able to describe physical issues that affect sitting posture and function including range of motion, strength and tone.
The participant will be able to determine the most appropriate wheelchair base based on range of motion limitations and functional issues (including transfers),
The participant will be able to determine the most appropriate seating system based on range of motion, strength, tone and functional issues.
The participant will be able to determine the most appropriate drive control system based on range of motion, strength and cognitive issues.

Faith has over 35 years of experience as a physical therapist, seating specialist and rehabilitation technology supplier, treating persons of all ages with a variety of disabilities. She has been working as a seating consultant at The Boston Home for 25 years assisting residents with MS and other chronic disabilities in obtaining appropriate manual and power wheelchair systems to improve posture, comfort, function and independence in mobility. She runs an outpatient clinic at The Boston Home and assists people in the community with diagnoses including SCI, MD, CP and MS to obtain appropriate equipment. She consults with therapists in Georgia for individuals residing in group homes to improve access to services and appropriate equipment and improve training of caregiver staff.
She has published chapters in journals and books including; International Journal of MS Care, Fundamentals in Assistive Technology and Physical Rehabilitation.